Tag Archives: Australian abattoir

Wagga Wagga (Est #291). NSW

Wagga Wagga abattoir is owned by Teys Australia, a Beef and offal export accredited facility located in NSW

Other Names

  • Teys Australia Southern Pty Ltd

Current Operation

  • Aus-Meat Accreditation #291. Accessed 02/10/2017
    • Export accredited facility processing Beef and Beef offal
  • MSA Licensed Plant for Beef processing5

Teys logo 15.09.2017

Source  www.teysaust.com.au. 15.09.2017. Teys Cargill Logo

 

Teys contact 15.09.2017

Source. www.teysaust.com.au. 15/09/2017. Teys Contact details

Location

  • Wagga Wagga is a major regional city in NSW, Located on the Murrambidgee river, midway between Sydney and Melbourne

 

Location relative to other abattoirs across Australia

Location of Australian Abattoirs

Owner

 

History

2002

  • March 27. US food multinational Cargill issues a three month lockout notice to meat workers at its Wagga Wagga abattoir6
    • Lockout will begin the following week 02/04/20026.
  • Wage talks have been ongoing for the last five months between, workers, union and meatworks7.
  • AMIEU union organiser at this point is Steve Gurney7.
    • If workers endorse the latest union proposal the company has agreed to withdraw the lockout notice7.
  • April 3. Workers vote to accept new pay deal9
  • Cargill public affairs manager at this time is Lloyd George9
    • Majority of workers voted for the agreement9
    • 20 maintenance workers are yet to vote on a separate agreement9
    • An official vote would take place in 2 weeks, 10/04/20029
  • Wagga Wagga abattoir has approximately 475 workers at this time10.
  • Cargill have kept the facility closed until the official vote preventing the workers returning to work10.
    • Cargill won’t re-open until the maintenance union and maintenance workers vote on their agreement10.
    • Maintenance union have refused the offer10.
    • Currently 16 maintenance workers on site11.
  • Australian Manufacturing Employees Union (AMWU) organiser Rob Leonard11.
  • Cargill lift the lockout and continue to negotiate with the maintenance union11
  • Cargill has extended leave entitlements to workers while the plant was shutdown11

2003

  • January. Odour problems occur from the facility resulting in court action in August 200417.
    • Animals parts that had been cooked to remove moisture and fat had created the odour17.
  • March. NSW Government approve a plan to double the facilities production, $30M13.
    • Progress is in the hands of Cargills American parent company13.
  • May. Cattle market was tight and running hours at the facility may be required to be reduced further during winter13.
    • Facility will only operate for 3 days next week (First week in June)13.
  • July. Workers have been asked to take annual leave for a fortnight while the facility closes due to drought-induced downturn in stock numbers12.
  • 450 workers are employed at the facility12
  • General manager at Wagga Wagga abattoir at this point is Dick Kelley12
  • Impact of drought and rising Australian dollar had hit the beef processing industry hard12.
  • Wagga Wagga’s main export destination was North America and Asia12.
  • Australian dollar has appreciated more than 30% against the American dollar in the past 18 months, largely due to Australia’s higher interest rates14.
    • Australian dollar is currently $US66c14.
    • Exporters need rates to ease incase it prices them out of key overseas markets14.
  • November. Expansion is given the go ahead from Cargill Beef16.
    • $30M upgrade will boost output from 850 head cattle a day to 1,200 head16.
    • Mean 125 new jobs, taking employment level to 62516.
    • Upgrades are expected to start in January 200416.
      • completion by March 200516.
  • Director of Communications for Cargill Beef at this point is Mark Klein16.

2004

  • July.Expansion plans have not started yet18.
    • Development application had been approved for some time18.
    • Construction plans were yet to be submitted18.
  • August. Wagga Wagga abattoir is ordered to pay $72,000 for emitting offensive odours17.
    • Incidents had occurred in January 200317.
    • Odours were smelt over 2km from the facility17.
    • Order was to spend $32,000 planting 4,500 trees along or near the Olympic Highway17.
      • and pay $40,000 in court costs17
  • Abattoir has upgraded facilities to ensure the odour problems don’t  happen again17.
    • Installed a bio-filtration system and the roof has been replaced at the rendering plant17.

2006

  • January. Cargill general Manager Bill Buckner at official opening of the $36M expansion19.
  • Cattle are sourced for the abattoir from the company’s feedlot at Jindalee and a radius of approximately 200km189

2009

  • Wagga Wagga abattoir has a failure at their sewer treatment system creating offensive odour problems to neighbours20

2010

  • August. Cargill Beef will introduce a $13M wastewater treatment system20
  • Pollution improvement works will result in a 20% cut to the abattoirs daily kill20
    • Cargill had approval to kill to 2,000 head per day, this has been reduced to 1,600 head cattle per day20
    • Had been killing 1,250 head per day20
  • 104 conditions were put in place by the Department of planning20.
  • Cargill Environment manager Charles Hollingsworth21
  • Pollution reduction program will reduce carbon emissions21
    • generate over 1 megawatt of renewable energy from captured biogas21
    • improve water quality21

 

2014

  • Teys purchase a feedlot and cropping property in north central Victoria from Elders in Charlton11.
    • Feedlot has capacity of 20,000 head1
    • Cost $10M and is Victoria’s largest feedlot1
    • Property is 776 hectares1
    • Feedlot infrastructure is 150 hectares with feed mills, flaking plants1
    • All staff had accepted employment with Teys1
    • Teys committed to capital upgrades over the next 3 years1
    • Primarily provide custom feeding to Naracoorte and Wagga abattoirs.1
    • Previous owners had custom fed 80% of capacity prior to sale2

2017

  • September. Teys Chairman at this time. Allan Teys AM4
    • Teys Chief Executive officer at this time. Brad Teys4

Executive officers 15.09.2017

Source. Teys website 15/09/2017 Current leadership team

 

Sources Wagga Wagga. #291. Teys Australia Southern Pty Ltd

  1. ‘Teys buys Elders Charlton feedlot’ QLD Countrylife 31.07.2014
  2. ‘Charlton workers keep jobs’ The Weekly Times 30.07.2014
  3. Aus-meat Accreditation listing. 30.03.2015
  4. http://www.teysaust.com.au/
  5. MSA Licensed Plants 06.06.2014. MLA
  6. ‘Lockout ban rests on deal’ Daily Telegraph 27.03.2002. via ebscohost
  7. ‘Vote on Tuesday could prevent lock-out at meatworks’ Australian 28.03.2002. via ebscohost
  8. ‘Pay deal jobs lifeline’ Daily Telegraph 29.03.2002. via ebscohost
  9. ‘Deal carved for meatworkers’ Daily Telegraph 03.04.2002. via ebscohost
  10. ‘Meatworkers locked out’ Daily Telegraph 04.03.2002 via ebscohost
  11. ‘Meatworkers back on the job’ Daily Telegraph 04.04.20020 via ebscohost
  12. ‘NSW: Drought causes temporary closure of abattoir’ Australian 01.07.2003. via ebscohost
  13. ‘Abattoir weathering tight conditions’ ABC Rural news 27.05.2003. via ebscohost
  14. ‘Exporters up the ante on rate cut’ Illawarra Mercury 02.07.2003 via ebscohost
  15. ‘Abattoir hits hard times’ Daily Telegraph 02.07.2003
  16. ‘Abattoir gets the nod for $30M revamp’ ABC Rural News 11.11.2003. via ebscohost
  17. ‘NSW: Wagga Wagga abattoir ordered to pay for smell’ Australian. 08.04.2004. via ebscohost
  18. ‘Meatworks revamp nearing start’ ABC 12.07.2004
  19. ‘Meatworks’ $36M expansion promises beef producer boost’ ABC Rural News 25.01.2006
  20. ‘Sewer woes to cut meatworks output’ ABC Rural News 04.08.2010
  21. ‘Cargill to reduce pollution from Wagga Wagga abattoir’ ABC Rural News. 04.08.10.
  22. ‘Cargill serious about Teys’ www.farmonline.com.au 08.02.11
  23. ‘Victorian processors continue to source’ QLD Country Life 20.10.2011
  24. ‘After decades of keeping a relatively low profile in Aust’ Stock Journal 05.01.2012
  25. ‘News Brief. 26 Sept.’ Beef Central 26.09.2011
  26. ‘Record yardings continue’ Stock and Land 12.12.2003
  27. ‘Wagga’s Heinz factory closes, but Teys interested in facility’ ABC Rural News 18.12.2014
  28. ‘Teys looks at closing abattoirs’ www.farmonline.com.au 17.02.2015
  29. ‘Teys in talks with labour recruitment………’ ABC Rural News 24.06.2015
  30. ‘Teys upgrades Wagga cold store’ www.farmonline.com.au 21.07.2015
  31. ‘Teys Australia to shed jobs, reduce output…….’ ABC Rural News 16.02.2016
  32. ‘Exclusive: Teys: Cargill seal deal to merge’ Beef Central 10.05.2011
  33. ‘Sweet fit for Teys and Cargill’ Beef Central 15.05.2011
  34. ‘Business as usual under merged Teys/Cargill beef venture’ Beef Central 02.09.2011
  35. ‘Teys: 800 jobs at risk as union rejects wages offer’ Beef Central 12.07.13
  36. MLA Industry Projections 2016
  37. ‘Top 25 Lotfeeders: No 2 Teys Australia’ Beef Central 19.02.2015
  38. ‘Cattle supply forces retrenchments at two JBS QLD plants’ Beef Central 15.07.2016
  39. ‘Beef plants laying idle as cattle squeeze reaches critical point’ Beef Central. 16.08.2016
  40. ‘Teys Wagga granted EU accreditation’ www.farmonline.com.au
  41. ‘Teys Wagga Wagga plant picks up EU accreditation’ Beef Central 08.12.2016
  42. ‘Wagga sale 19/12/2016: Rates rise in final sale of 2016’ Beef Central 19.12.2016
  43. ‘Teys cuts back operations at Wagga, as cattle supply dwindles’ Beef Central. 15.02.2016
  44. ‘Cattle shortages forces processor cut backs’ www.farmonline.com.au 16.02.2016
  45. ‘Teys cops flack from ALEC over explanation behind cutbacks at Lakes Creek plant’ Beef Central 09.02.2016
  46. ‘Weekly kill: Weather again plays havoc with processing operations’ Beef Central 20.09.2016
  47. ‘Teys animal health feedback project aims to lift industry performance’ Beef Central 11.10.2016
  48. ‘Teys to launch its own pasturefed standard, as alternative to PCAS’ Beef Central 27.04.2017
  49. ‘$18.5M investment as Teys Wagga plant gears-up for EU trade’ Beef Central. 14.06.2017
  50. EU Accredited facilities in Australia. 11.10.2016
  51. ‘Weekly Kill: Normal service set to resume, after six-week hibernation’ Beef Central 03.05.2017
  52. ‘Teys launches feedback data project for feeder cattle’ Beef Central. 21.06.2017%
  53. ‘Judge dismisses bid by Teys Australia to stop Wagga Wagga developments’ ABC News 20.01.2015

NSW abattoir list A – Z.

This list is only of those facilities currently on this blog.

For sites in other parts of Australia, go to Australian Abattoir Locations

 

Aberdeen abattoir. Closed. Last owned by AMH

Bega. Current operation unknown

Blayney abattoir. Closed Last owned by ANZCO

Bourke (Proposed) Goat

Camperdown

Casino abattoir. Currently operating

Collarenbri. Proposed goat abattoir

Coonabarabran abattoir. Closed

Coonamble abattoir

Cootamundra

Cowra abattoir. Currently operating

Culcairn

Deniliquin abattoir. Current operation unknown

Dubbo abattoir. Currently operational. The largest sheepmeat processing facility in Australia.

Duringula abattoir

Forbes abattoir (NSW)

Goulburn abattoir

Grafton

Gundagai

Gunnedah

Guyra abattoir

Harden abattoir. Closed in 2006.

Inverell. Better known as Bindaree Beef. Currently in operation.

Lismore

Oberon abattoir

______________________________________________________________________________

Aberdeen abattoir

Now closed, located in north east NSW, was last owned by AMH.
Historically a very old facility – originally began in 1891. Most recently upgraded in 1996, closed 1999,

Bega

Opened in 2004 as a small species abattoir processing rabbits and poultry, located south of Canberra in NSW. Had operating cost issues in 2013, closure threatened.

Blayney abattoir

Located in southeast NSW. Began operations as a freezing works in 1900, became insolvent in 1996, then purchased by ANZCO, with debts still owing to unsecured creditors of $6M. Closed in 1998. AMIEU citing economic reasons rather than stock shortages as the main cause of closure.

Bourke (Proposed) Goat

2008 local council proposed establishment of a goat abattoir to process 1,500 goats a day.

Camperdown abattoir

Located only 8km Sydney, closed 1991 following violent industrial disputes.

Casino abattoir

Currently operating in 2014. The only Australian farmer co-operative abattoir of its kind. Specialised Wagyu plant that has two operating floors for different size slaughter animals.

Collarenebri (Proposed) Goat

Formally a failed emu and ostrich abattoir a proposal was put forward in 2008 to develop the site to process 750 goats a day for 8 months of the year.

Coonabarbran abattoir

Located 600km north west of Sydney. Was the only abattoir in the region that did service kill of 3 species, cattle, lamb and pigs. Had environmental pollution problems in 2008 which attracted legal action and fines. Closed in 2012 citing costs of fines from 2008 issues.

Coonamble abattoir

Closed in 2001 due to government GST and regulation costs, is currently being upgraded for reopening in 2014

Cootamundra abattoir

Cowra abattoir

Located 250km west of Sydney the abattoir has been through closures but is currently operating.
Commenced operations in 1970, pay disputes in 2006, administrator appointed in same year. While insolvent owner conducted illegal activity by transfer of deed to another company and allocating 1st mortgage status to it and not the bank, with employee entitlements last and unable to be paid. Administrators sold facility in 2007, it underwent significant upgrades in 2012 with CCTV installed.

Culcairn abattoir

Deniliquin abattoir

Deniliquin had a freezing works in the late 1800’s. The current abattoir was built at a different site and was operating prior to 1990. It opened and closed a number of times. Recently being sold the facility has undergone upgrades with intentions of being opened in 2013

Dubbo abattoir

Largest sheep meat processor in Australia currently in operation. A new plant built in 1988 which was the first to have a processing chain that was a hot boning system for mutton. When developed the employment was shift based and not tally as other abattoirs at the time. Did have a wool processing facility that is now closed. Production has been affected by supply of animals, high Australian dollar, sheep prices and reduction of the Australian sheep herd. It proposed in 2010 to merge 2 shifts for one as a 10 hour work day, unions resisted.

Duringula

Located mid north east NSW, currently closed. Local government considering injecting funds for refurbishment of the facility.

Forbes abattoir

Located southwest NSW, built in the 1950’s, owned and operated by Japanese 1988 to 2003. Plant required significant capital upgrades which the owners were not prepared to do and it closed in 2003. Talk of reopening in 2013.

Goulburn abattoir

Located 200km southwest of Sydney and north of Canberra. Has faced major shortage of animal supply issues in the past due to drought and decreased national sheep herd. Recently increased costs of water affected operations

Grafton abattoir

Gundagai abattoir

Gunnedah abattoir

Guyra abattoir

Was operating prior to 1960 as a government owned facility, closed to be reopened by the council as a service kill facility. Racking up substantial debts of $6M these were waived at sale in 1985 to be reopened then closed again in 1993. AMH purchased around this time and entered into a partnership with DR Johnston to operate. Involved in significant industrial disputes the plant was regarded as marginal it was closed permanently in 1996. Currently being considered for development of the site as a rabbit farm

Harden abattoir

Built in the 1970’s by council, Southern meats purchased and ran Harden with a US consortium. US sheepmeat import tariffs caused short operational closures but lack of supply of animals due to extended drought caused final closure in 2006.

Inverell abattoir

Located in northern NSW, a privately owned abattoir more commonly known as Bindaree Beef. Recently received $23M government grant for a biogas project. Negotiations in 2014 with union regarding EBA have stalled, workers have had a number of stop works in recent months over pay disagreements.

Lismore abattoir

Oberon abattoir

Located 200km east of Sydney, Privately owned facility that was shut for a period due to a business deal. Re-opened in 2014 targeting Asian market preferences in Sydney.

Clermont

Other Names

Current Operation

  • Currently in operation1

Location   


Hema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.

Owner

Operation   

  • Small local processor

History

Year

Sources

  1. ‘Northern Australian beef Industry – Assessment of risks and opportunities’ ABARE. 2012.

Weipa

Other Names

Current Operation

  • Is currently operating as at 2012.1

Location   


Hema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.

Owner

Operation   

History

Year

Sources

    1. ‘Northern Australian beef Industry – Assessment of risks and opportunities’ ABARE. 2012.

Trafalgar

Other Names

  • Giles abattoir

Current Operation

  • Closed – 2012, following claims of cruelty.5

Location   

  • Trafalgar is located 130 kilometres South east of Melbourne in Victoria

Australia. Trafalgar

TrafalgarHema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.

Owner

  • L.E Giles and Sons abattoir2

Operation   

  • Processed Cattle, sheep, goats and pigs5
  • Employed 25 full time workers5

History

2010

  • Late in 2010. Animal activist posing under a false name as a photography student was allowed access to the abattoir. She took video footage of the slaughter of pigs, which was given to Animals Australia Inc. (AA). AA made a formal complaint to both primesafe and department of primary industries2
  • Abattoir had previously allowed schools in, senior vets and allowed people access to the kill floor.
    they had nothing to hide. As far as we were concerned we were operating within the guidelines” Bruce Giles – Former abattoir worker5

2011

  • Nov. 24th. Primesafe contacted LE Giles & Sons and ordered to cease work until further notice due to animal cruelty2
    • Mangement of abattoir attended meeting in PrimeSafe’s office in Melbourne – and were shown footage 25th.2
    • Animals Australia footage as accessed 21.12.13. (Note I actually didn’t watch this as my computer had trouble loading) Trafalgar abattoir – activist footage
      • AA refused to release footage to Herald sun as they had made another deal already with another media outlet.3
      • Film shot by a member of the Animal Liberation Victoria group.3
        • Sarah Lynch – well-known animal activist, had already tried to access another Gippsland abattoir, was allegedly caught filming outside of another.5
  • Sarah Lynch visited abattoir twice – first recorded lamb and beef kill, second visit was to record pigs7
  • Film – last of 60 pigs stunned electronically before slaughter.5
  • One pig escaped and man hit pig with sledgehammer.5
  • workers claim Sarah Lynch stood where it contributed to scaring the pig and it escaping.5
  • Claim of pig running into scalding vat was not possible, as it was physcially impossible for the pigs to go in as the access door was closed and pig would have to leap 1.5m high. “So it didn’t happen” Trevor Stever.5
  • Claim of pig taking 6 minutes to die was “a lot of rubbish” Trevor Stever – former inspector5

Animals Australia. Kates statement. 21.12.13._edited-1Source – Animals Australia.org.  Acessed 21.12.13.
Sarah Lynch (AKA Kate)- Animal Liberation Victoria statement of what she filmed at Trafalgar abattoir late 2010.

  • Sarah Lynch has refused all attempts from media to speak5
  • Management (Ray Giles aged 80 and Colin Giles aged 72) went to meeting with PrimeSafem had no legal advice, felt bullied, intimidated and helpless by aggressive regulator2
    • Agreed to surrender licence, PrimeSafe refused to give any written confirmation of meeting5
  • Regulator announced in papers 26th Primesafe chief excutive officer – Brian Casey, it was his intention to close abattoir permanently3
    • made comments to shut abattoir down while Victorian DPI and PrimeSafe were still conducting investigations
    • Regulator accused of damage control, with snap closure of the abattoir similar impact to Live animal export closure in Ban of 20116
    • Media hysteria of cruelty and closure of abattoir damaged the Trafalgar business name and reputation7
    • Critics of Primesafe say only pig processing should have been shut down not the sheep and cattle lines2
    • Trafalgar were never given opportunity to change processing procedure, yet other abattoirs had similar processing lines and were given the chance to rectify problems7
    • abattoirs across Australia say there is an effective audit process and abattoirs don’t require CCTV installations, the issue with Trafalgar was compliance by owners and operators with regulations that are there.6
  • Brian Casey – said PrimeSafe cancelled licence following receival of fax from Giles  a number of days latter saying it was Giles decision to cancel their licence.5
  • Giles Claim that at meeting Casey threatened them to either hand in licence or have it taken from them, if they handed in, matter would be finished, if they didn’t  PrimeSafe would take as far as they can, even with the possibility of jail5
  • Auditing – Abattoir was audited 4 times a year by SGS ,a  Primesafe approved auditor, last time  a pig kill was audited was November 2004, Since then 26 audits conducted by 4 different auditor but only beef and sheep kills observed2
  • Not once in audits hade PrimeSafe indicated Pig slaughter was incorrect processing7
  • Primesafe accused of massive failure in auditing process due to fact pig kill wasn’t observed, Primesafe had never stated or reported that pig kill process wasn’t acceptable. Other abattoirs had installed kill boxes for pigs and only required photographs to be submitted the premises weren’t inspected.2
  • If audits had indicated that there needed to be a change, then the abattoir would have made changes.2
    • Primesafe argued that the abattoir breached the ruling that the pigs must be individually placed in a restraining box for slaughter, Since 1996 Trafalgar been permitted to stun pigs while the animals remained in their familial groups, a method many, including scientists regard as far more humane5
    • If the method Trafalgar used was wrong their own audit processes failed to pick up.5
  • closure occured in busiest part of year – 2t of legs of pork to be cured for hams, abattoir was given 24 to get rid of it all.5
  • 2 meat inspectors who spoke in support of Trafalgar were reminded by regulator of confidentiality clauses in their licensing, the full time meat inspector at Trafalgar has his licence revoked, Number of butchers licensed under PrimeSafe were unable to speak out as too afraid of repercussions of regulator7

2013

  • April. Department of environment and Primary industries dropped charges against abattoir – not enough evidence4
  • Charges had been against Colin Giles, James Rodwell (quality assurance manager) and three slaughtermen – offences under the Prevention of cruelty to Animals Act.5
    • Slaughterment pleaded guilty but judge noted cruelty wasn’t deliberate and due to loss of jobs had suffered significantly – escaped conviction and given 12 month good behaviour bond.5
    • Slaughtermen were advised to take guilty plea due to cost of fighting charges in court5
  • All other charges dropped by DPI April 15, as believed little chance of successful prosecution5
  • No further explanation has been given to Giles family from DPI for reasons of dropping charges.5
  • Giles had to sell commercial property to fund legal costs $150,000, to contest charges was another $35,000, DPI had bottomless resources of State solicitors office5
  • Animals Australia deny any inapproprate action in issue as their role was limited to lodging the complaint. “The fact that workers pleaded guilty to cruelty offences reiterates the appropriateness of Animals Australia lodging a complaint”5
  • Sept. Flow on effects to producers5
  • Goat producers business was ruined as soon as abattoir closed – had to take animals to Kynton, transport was costly and business was unable to service its customers.5
  • Pig producer of rare breeds was unable to have smaller animals processed at other abattoirs for neiche markets.5
  • Abattoir wasn’t attending markets to purchase animals5
  • Effect on owners – health problems and high stress levels.5
  • PrimeSafe withdrew court proceedings because they couldn’t prove or win the case in a court of law.10
  • Closure of the abattoir affected a number of producers – some closing down. It also affected those who had service kill of farm animals done for home consumption10
  • Oct. False allegations of animal cruelty caused far reaching consequences of business closure1
  • Local farmers say State government PrimeSafe and DPI should be investigated for mishandling4
  • Support site and petition established Community support for Giles (Trafalgar abattoir)
    • to assist with legal action and re-open abattoir
    • 3000 signatures collected on petition and handed to parliament8
    • Personal testaments in media “The Giles family is held in high esteeem by many from within the industry and outside it too” – Peter Kostos – Livestock agent in Gippsland area since 1986.10
    • Kneejerk reaction based on footage gained by an animal activist under deceptive, if not deliberate circumstances, LR Giles and Sons abattoir was closed without justice and due diligence occurring” Peter Kostos10
  • Sources
    1. ‘Bring them to account’ Mail times 04.10.13.
    2. Inquiry into the impact of food safety regulation on farms and other businesses. Sale 18.10.2012
    3. ‘Abattoir shut amid animal cruelty claims’ Herald sun. 26.11.13.
    4. ‘Calls for more investigations in abattoir closure’ ABC Rural 03.10.13.
    5. ‘Overkill’ ABC Landline 29.09.13
    6. ‘Trafalgar abattoir let the whole meat industry down’ Meat trade news daily 09.12.11
    7. Letter from employee to Inquiry – 31.08.13.
    8. ‘Letter: Giles abattoir closure must be reviewed and petition tabled’ Warragul citizen 11.04.12
    9. ‘Guilty until proven innnocent’ Stock and Land 03.10.13.

Tongala

Other Names

  • HW Greenham and Sons1
  • Echuca abattoir

Current Operation

  • Currently operating as at time of writing 03.03.2014.
  • Aus meat Establishment #02348
  • Export accredited abattoir8

Location   

  • Tongala is 30km South east of Echuca, Inside the Victorian northern border.

Australia. Tongala

Tongala

Hema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.

Owner

Operation   

  • Supplies to the US grinding meat market1
    • lean manufacturing-grade product5
    • Selling mainly to Burger King8
  • Focuses on processing of dairy cull cows and bulls5
  • Significant feature of operations is development of direct relationship with producers, buys majority of its meat over the hooks5
  • Production 100% beef, 95% exported and 5% sold domestically5
  • Has a policy of not deducting transaction levies, yard fees or commissions from farmers payments opting to pay these charges on the farmers behalf.8
  • Sources stock supply from Goulburn valley and Campaspe region of northern Victoria into the New south Wales Riverina District.11

History

Top 25 red meat processing statistics for HW Greenham are for their processing capacity at Tongala and Smithton abattoir (Tas) combined.

1993

  • Pioneered the Hot boning concept in Australia.5
    • Hot boning is when carcase is immediately cut up after slaughter, boxed and frozen.
    • Significantly lower labour costs in processing, refrigeration and storage than cold processing7
  • Commenced operation of new hot boning room at Tongala2
    • Had previously operated abattoirs in Victoria. underwent a major business structure change and purchased Tongala.2

2000

  • Instigated the Greenhams Dairy scholarship2

2001

  • Exporting 24,300t pa to USA, slaughtering more than 164,000 cattle, beef and dairy2

2002

  • Australia’s top 25 beef and sheepmeat processors – HW Greenham debutes into ranking at 15th.4
    • Throughput ETCW 2002 Calendar year 46,000t,4
    • 1.7% of national beef kill share.4
    • Turnover $176M4
    • Employees 470 people4

2003

  • Australia’s top 25 beef and sheepmeat processors – HE Greenham  ranks 12th.7
      • Throughput ETCW 2004 Calendar year 51,000t,7
      • Turnover $200M7
      • Employs 470 people6

2004

  • Australia’s top 25 beef and sheepmeat processors – HW Greenham ranks 13th.5
    • Throughput ETCW 2004 Calendar year 52,500t,5
    • 2% of National beef kill share6
    • Turnover $230M5
    • Employs 470 people6

2005

  • Greenham’s commission a feasibility study into establishing a specialist facility to process graindfed beef for the Asian markets3
    • Plant to be be built adjacent to existing Tongala facility3
    • Would utilise current infrastructure of waste water treatment, management and logistic efficencies3

2006

  • Australia’s top 25 beef and sheepmeat processors – HW Greenham ranks at 12th.5
    • Throughput ETCW 2006 Calendar year 53,500t,5
    • 1.9% of national beef kill share.5
    • Employees 470 people5

2007

  • Australia’s top 25 beef and sheepmeat processors – HW Greenham ranks 9th.7
    • Throughput ETCW 2007 Calendar year 58,000t,7
      • Tongala processed 168,000 head throughput 38,000t8
      • Smithton abattoir (Tas) processed 72,000 head throughput 20,000t8
    • 2.02% of national beef kill share.7
    • Employees 360 people7
    • Production split 90% export, 10% domestic
  • Local producers had never seen times as tough as now (2007), farmers are culling hundreds of cows from herds. Tongala Farmer Frank Walsh had planned to be milking 700 cows, they were down to 100.8
    • Culls going to other farmers with feed or the abattoirs8
    • Cow get $300-$400, if able to be kept would earn 10X that in milk production but producers don’t have water for crops for fodder8

2008

  • January. Looking to expand chiller capacity but due to increased volume of processing at Smithton (Tasmania) abattoir announced extension would be placed on hold.1
    • Development needed due to lack of dairy cows due to drought and facility would have provided chilling capacity for cold boning of prime cattle10
  • Current US market for grinding beef quite buoyant, expansion could have helped to open up additional markets1
  • Report cites Tongala as employing 200 staff and processing 38,000t of meat per annum.10

2009

  • September. 105 jobs to be cut in October
    • Currently employing 213 people before job cuts, one of the two daily shifts at the hot boning plant would be cut.13
    • Shortage of cattle in the Goulburn valley, dairy herds have been cut back dramatically meant fewer cows for culling and processing.12
    • Milk production in the Goulburn valley plummeted from 2.8B (2000) litres to 2B (2009)12
    • Milk forcast to drop a further 12.5%, compared to 1% in Gippsland and 2% in Victorias west.12
    • 40% reduction in dairy farms in the NE of Victoria, lower water allocations and fall in milk prices.13
    • Workers would receive full entitlements12
    • 10% of the people in the Tongala township work in the meat industry and another 14% in dairy farming.12
    • 150 jobs had been lost when Nestle milk factory had closed in 200512
    • For every job lost from the abattoir meant another 3 jobs affected in the town.12

2012

  • Tongala plant operating at reduced capacity due to availability of stock14
    • Current capacity was 350 head a day14
    • requiring workforce of 150 people14
  • 12 full time positions were devoted to demands of quality assurance of meat and testing equipment14
  • USA declared that a further 6 forms of E coli to be tested – called the ‘big six’14
    • Testing to start June and at significant cost to Australian processors14
    • A single AQIS inspector costs $182,394 a year.14
      • Tongala operates two chains (hot & Cold) and therefore needs 2 AQIS inspectors14
    • Federal Government axed 40% subsidy of meat Inspectors in October 2011.14
    • Export companies now to wear the full cost – Estimated at $8 per head an animal, $2M a year for the industry.14
    • Current sampling cost $30 a test, ‘Big Six’ testing would double that.14
    • US market arguably the most demanding market to supply, some exporters regarded US as last choice becasue it was commercially unattractive.14
    • Nothing can be shipped unless it all tests clear.14
    • Tongala analyse 100 swabs and meat tests each day14
  • Tongala currently processing 25,000t annually14

2013

  • February. Video by Animals Australia activist claim cruelty to bobby calves16
    • PrimeSafe investigate and consider insufficent grounds to prosecute16
    • PrimeSafe issued a warning to take corrective actions17
    • unannounced PrimeSafe visits followed and showed no breach of welfare17
  • December. 50 new jobs, launch of afternoon shift.15
    • Abattoir now at three quarters its maximum capacity15

2014

  • Processing about 700 bulls and dairy cows a day
  • Drawing stock from about 3000 farmers
  • 90% of the annual 180,000t goes to the US hamburger trade

Sources

  1. ‘Delay in works at Tongala abattoir’ http://www.greenham.com.au, accessed 30.01.2013.
  2. Tongala History. http://www.greenham.com.au Acessed 30.01.13.
  3. ‘Greenham’s development proposal a potential boost for local economy’ Shire of Campaspe 20.10.2005
  4. Top 25 processors. MLA. Feedback Sept 2003
  5. Top 25 Processors. MLA. Feedback Sept 2007.
  6. Top 25 processors. MLA Feedback Oct. 2005
  7. Top 25 Processors. MLA Feedback Sept 2008
  8. ‘Milkers just so much hamburger’ www.news.com.au 07.04.2007
  9. Aus meat accreditation list. 28.02.2014
  10. Background paper for Lower Murray-Darling Basin Inquiry. August 2009
  11. Removed reference.
  12. ‘Jobs Carnage as drought savages bush abattoir’ The Age. 21.09.2009
  13. ‘No rain, no meat, no work at Tongala abattoir’ Stock and Land. 22.09.2009
  14. ‘Jenny Kelly visits HW Greenham & sons Pty Ld’ The Meat Trade Daily. 17.03.2012
  15. ‘Job boost a local abattoir’ The Advisor. Undated.
  16. ‘Victorian abattoir accused of cruel treatment of unwanted dairy calves’ Lateline. 01.02.2013
  17. ‘Abattoir formally warned for mistreatment of dairy calves’ www.mmg.com.au 06.02.2013
  18. ‘Empire of the son, the Greenhams tradition continues’ Weekly times. 29.01.2014

Bowen

Other Names

  • Bowen Freezing works
  • Merinda abattoir

Current Operation

  • Closed 19972
    • Other articles cite closure as 1996.4

Location   

  • Merinda – 6 miles from Bowen          

Australia. Bowen

Map BowenHema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.

Owner

  • Bergl (Australia) Ltd3
  • Thomas Borthwick & Son – owned 5-6 abattoirs in Australia (1933)3
  • AMH (1986)2
  • Nippon Meats (Japanese) purchased 1989.4
  • Nippon Meat Packers6
    • Subsidiary of a Japanese Multinational
    • Nippon meat packers incorporated 19786
  • products_edited-1Source Nippon Meat Packers Australia interactive beef products

    This is a great diagram that is able to be clicked on in the Nippon website and illustrates where the various cuts of beef and offal are located in the animals bodies

  •  Nippon currently own 3 operating abattoirs in Australia ( as at 2016)

Operation          

  • Purchased stock from Western QLD & NT

History of Bowen Meatworks

1890’s

  • Recognition that the export trade of meat needs to be developed for the economic benefit of Australian producers (Pg 1041).9
    • Existing low values are due to fact that half to one third of surplus meat is exported.9
    • Should be exporting 250,000 to 300,000 carcases of beef.9
    • £1M pounds is required to construct meatworks.9
    • If not constructed £10M pounds could be added to existing capital of the banks and still their securities would be unprofitable(Pg 1042).9
  • Parliament develope “The Meat and Dairy Produce Encouragement Act”(Pg 1042).9
    • Levy imposed on both cattle and sheep.9
    • 2 funds .9
      1. Dairying herds
      2. Beef herds
    • Fund allows for establishment of meatworks at.9
      • Pinkenba
      • Bowen
      • Redbank
      • Cardwell
      • Broadsound
      • Gladstone
      • Brisbane
      • Charleville
      • Mackay
      • Biboohra (Mareeba)
      • Burketown and
      • Sellheim

1894

  • Operation was started by local cattlemen.11
    • Cattle were selling for as low as 30/ per head.11
    • Only in operation for one year.11
  • Bergl purchased
    • Had connections with Houlden Bros – Boats known as Grange Line.11
  • Works employed 200-400 men.11
  • Killed an average of 15,000 cattle per annum.11
    • the best year being 30,000 head.11

1905

  • Bergl Australia acquire the small plant, at this time known as Merinda.9
    • Prior to this had been by Bowen Meat Export and Agency Co.10

1919

  • In operation

1932

  • November. Bowen works is purchased by Borthwick’s with the intention of commencement of export operations in 1933.11
  • Borthwicks had been operating Burdekin meatworks previous 2-3 years.11
    • have not continued with the lease.11
  • Prior to Borthwicks purchase the Bowen meatworks had been idle for sometime.11
    • Bergl had installed modern machinery in the previous year.11
    • Bergl did not intend to carry on in QLD.11
  • Borthwicks had obtained prominent army contracts.11
    • In 1923 securing bulk of the war office yearly contract of 6,000 tonnes for home command.11

1933

  • Borthwick & Son purchased. Rebuilt and made extensions.3

Thomas Borthwick_edited-1Source – QLD National State Library. #137304
Thomas Borthwick & Sons Freezing works. Undated

1941

  • Oil stove used to heat bitumen to seal cork insulation in the storage section caught fire3
  • Was 800t of meat in the store at the time.3
  • 300 employees killing 376 cattle a day for export

Bown - fire_edited-1Source QLD National Library. #137256
Thomas Borthwick & Sons Freezing works

1958

  • Slaughter processing peak 58,500 head.10

1960’s  

  • Closed overnight – Lord Borthwick unable to meet demands of unions and strikes1

1963

  • Is currently registered as a meat export works (Pg 314).5
    • Proprietor – Thos. Borthwick & Sons (A/Asia) Ltd

1980’s

  • The Australian beef trading/processing environment is worsening(Pg 119).5
    • QLD Cattle herd in 1975 was 14M head.5
      • QLD Cattle herd in 1987 is 9M.5
    • There is low utilisation rates through meatworks and the need to reduce the number the meatworks is seen to improve efficency and reduce operational costs (Pg 120).5

1983

  • Federal Industries Assistance Commission produce a report that reveals the Australian meat processing industry has 38% excess capacity (Pg 126).7

1986 

  • April. Joint Venture Proposal is begun to amalgamate.7
    • FJ Walkers (Owned by Elders IXL)
      • Already own 10 abattoirs, including 4 key export works and meat packing plants in Australia (Pg 119).5
    • Metro Meat Industries
    • Smorgon Consolidated Industries
    • Tancred Bros
    • Thomas Borthwick & Sons
      • Borthwicks to add their plants of Mackay (QLD) and Bowen.7
  • Wide spread concern of potential domination of the QLD beef market by the merger entity (Pg 127).7
  • May. Trade Practices Commission (TPC) holds a investigation.7
  • June. TPC announce will not place legal impediment to the merger.7
  • July. Borthwicks  withdraw from talks(pg 120).5
    • Borthwicks had operation problems of it’s own and wanted to sell all Australian assets including hides and skin processing not just jewels of Bowen and Mackay.5
    • Portland (Vic) would be particularly difficult to sell due to union unrest.5

1987

  • Is listed in Aus-Meat Accreditation List as Establisment #723.8
    • Borthwick. T & Sons Ltd.

1988 

  • January. Teys Brothers are in discussion with Borthwick to purchase Borthwick Australian assets and a Japanese branch of the company (Pg 121).5
  • Teys had been in a joint venture with Canada Packers (Pg 121).5
    • Canada Packers withdrew from the joint venture which influenced Teys to seek financial backing from Kerry Packer in bidding for the Borthwick assets
    • Purchase price $25M Australian
  • AMH saw the ‘new entrant’, Teys as a threat to AMH’s ability to remain profitable and achieve further rationalisation in the northern region (Pg 122).5
  • AMH commented that Borthwick operations were the main price competition in QLD (Pg 122).5
    • If Borthwicks not in the market AMH would earn $10 a head more per animal.5
  • AMH offered Borthwicks $29M for Australian Assets (Pg 122)
  • TPC advised AMH not to proceed without their consultation as they would likely contravene Sec 50 Trade Practices Act and likely dominate the QLD cattle market (Pg 123).5
  • TPC placed an injunction for AMH to withdraw offer (Pg 123).5
    • AMH resisted arguing the the order would likely allow Teys to purchase without actual determination of contravention of section 50.5
    • AMH  offered undertaking that Borthwicks business’s would be maintained and conducted independently and in competition with the business of AMH.5
    • TPC accepted but possible divestiture order was of significant commercial risk to AMH.5
      • TPC announced an inquiry was to be held.5
    • Borthwicks sale to AMH was accepted 26/01/1988
  • Borthwick Hides and skins business were immediately sold.5
  • All remaining parts of Borthwicks were combined with AMH
  • February. TPC begins inquiry.5
    • TPC accepts that northern QLD is a seperate market to central and southern QLD.5
    • AMH control 5 of the 10 abattoirs in the region.5
  • Bowen abattoir could lift total regional slaughter capacity to over 76.76%.5
  • TPC ruled AMH had contravened section 50.5
    • Ruling was AMH must divest itself of Bowen & Mackay
      • Could retain control of Portland (pg 128).7
    • 3 months to do so
    • appeals and cross appeals conducted.
  • Trade Practices Commission forced sale due to AMH having dominant market share.2
  • March. TPC final judgement ruling on AMH case (Pg 123).5
    • Case is held as precedent on what constitutes the geographical limits of a product market
  • While the court case was in process AMH had been operating the plants(Pg 123).5
    • Profits from them had been above market expectations.5
    • Bowen was of marginal importance
    • Mackay was significant because of the access to lucrative Japanes market (Pg 128).7
  • AMH offered QLD plants to Anglo Irish $32M (Pg 124).5
    • initially Anglo Irish accepted but revalued plants at considerably less and withdrew from the deal
  • TPC increased pressure on AMH to sell plants (pg 124).5
    • If AMH didn’t sell them TPC would put plants up for public auction at market price
  • Nippon Meat Packers, in consortium with Mackay Sugar to purchase the Bowen and Mackay plants (Pg 123,86).5
    • reported $32M

1996

  • Closed as part of Industry rationalisation.4

1997  

  • Closed.2

1998

  • March. Petition – Abattoirs,  presented to Parliament – 1,248 signatures. requesting4
    1. Revoke export licence for the Nippon Meat abattoirs at Mackay and Merinda: and4
    2. initiate a review of foreign investment guidelines in Australia to ensure that multi-national companies investing in Australia are bound by a code of conduct which protects the interests of all stakeholders, and not just overseas stakeholders.4

Sources

  1. Facebook KBS 16.01.13
  2. ‘Northern Australian Beef Industry – Assessment of opportunities and risks’ ABARE 2012
  3. ‘Fire Damages Bowen meat works’ Courier Mail 05.07.41
  4. House of Representatives Petition. Abattoirs. 09.03.1998.
  5. ‘World on a plate – A history of meat processing in Australia’ Stephen Martyn
  6. ‘Meat Processing in Australia’ IBIS World. June 2010
  7. ‘Employers & Industrial Relations in the Australian Meat Processing Industry’ J OLeary 2008
  8. ‘Aus-Meat Accreditation list November 1987
  9. QLD beef industry 1962. pdf
  10. ‘Triumph in the Tropics’ www.oesr.qld.gov.au 1959
  11. ‘Purchased by Borthwicks’ www.trove.nla.au 28.11.1932

Karnet

Current Operation

  • Operating as a special purpose abattoir

Location              

  • 30 km E of Mandurah

Australia. Karnet

Map. KarnetSource – Hema Maps. Australia Truckies Atlas

Owner

  • Karnet Prison farm – is a minimum security prison2

Operation

  • Cattle & sheep processed in abattoir1
  • Training site for prisoners to gain experience and knowledge in agricultural production for employment prospects.2
  • Karnet works in conjunction with Pardelup prison farm (Mt Barker), have herd of cattle and sheep, produce is sold on the open market and steers brought to process in the abattoir with cull animals off the farms in the abattoir and boning plant.3
  • Farms produce milk, eggs, vegetables and fruit for other prisons in WA, estimated to save $2M a year in the produce being able to be supplied.3
  • Equipment, sheds and hydroponic systems built from equipment seized in drug raids.3

 

History

1963

  • Prison farm established2

 

Sources

  1. WAMIA Meat processors 2013
  2. http://www.correctiveservices.wa.gov.au/prisons/prison-locations/karnet.aspx
  3. ‘Inside job’ Landline. 19.02.12. http://www.abc.net.au/landline/content/2012/s3434298.htm

Baldivis

Current Operation

  • Operating as at 2013

Location              

  • Between  Perth and Mandurah – 35 km S Perth

Australia. Baldivis

Map. BaldivisSource – Hema Maps. Australia Truckies Atlas

Owner

  • Konynen Farm

Operation

  • Processes Rabbits1

 

History

  •             

 

Sources

  1. WAMIA Meat Processors 2013

Cairns

Cairns (more commonly known as Queerah meatworks) was located in far north QLD received cattle from mainly north Australia, often by Barge from the NT and Normanton that had travelled from the gulf of Carpentaria. Began to export in 1950’s closing in 1989

Number of photographs kindly supplied by the Cairns Historical Society, a museum and library operated by volunteers.

Other names

  •  Queerah

Current Operation

  • Closed 19861
  • Others say 19894

P08210 (2)Source – Cairns Historical Society, 1952. Photo PO8210
The Cairns Meatworks

Location             

  • Skelton Creek, Cairns

Australia. Cairns. jpg

Map. Cairns 001Source – Hema Maps. Australia Truckies Atlas.

Owner                 

  • Amagraze. Director Fred Beaver (1962)3
  • AMH

Operation          

  • Export1
  • Nominal Capacity 110,000hd per 50 weeks1

History                

 1950

Queerah 1950.Source Cairns Regional Council. Dated 1950

Queerah Meatworks

  • Begun to export early 1950’s4

 1960’s 

  • 1st loading 6th June 1960.Ships – Irene Clauser ,  Inger Clausen – coasters – length of 50m, shallow draft, carry 200-250hd1
  • Clara Clauser – specifically built for Gulf trade, larger but shallower draft of only 1.8m, carry 800-1000hd1
  • Involved in shipping cattle Gulf of Carpentaria around Cape to Cairns, otherwise cattle had to be walked 3500km to east coast, ships took 5 days1
  • Burketown, Karumba & Normanton – shipping from these regions to Bowen and Cairns. Govt paid a 3 pound freight subsidy3
  • Earlier service operated by barge Wewak, owned by Marine contracting and towing company1pg 72

p04059 (2)Source – Cairns Historical society. 1963. PO4059
Winners of the Queerah meatwoeks carcass competition Cairns Show

1962 

  • Isla Clauser – replaced Inger Clauser  and Irene Clauser, to be replaced by Ida Clauser3
  • At this time Cairns (Queerah) was most modern meatworks in the southern hemisphere5
    • Had first continuous chain – carcase kept moving along the line, once it started5
  • July. Meatworkers strike5
    • 13 boners including union president had been sacked for go-slow5
    • Industrial commission and Conciliation commission directed men’s re-employment as boners – they were but with union predisent as a trimmer, reducing wage by half5
    • Company refused to give preference to union workers of  AMIEU5
    • Union called stop work. – 41 employees including union president dismissed5
  • 100 graziers moved in to keep works operating – came from Cape York, Gulf, Hughenden, Alpha and Warwick5
    • mainly used to bone due to backlog of meat5
  • Boners earning 60-65 pounds a week, strike wanted 5 more5
  • Strike went for about 10 days5

1970’s

  • Cairns Harbour board Installed large Freezers at the Number 1 wharf to store meat in cartons for direct loading to the ship4

p04048 (2)Source – Cairns Historical Society. c1970

Loading export meat from the Queerah meatworks at Cairns wharf

1975

  • Ida Clauser supported Gulf trade to about this year3
  • Clara Clauser – larger, shallow draft built specifically to navigate shallow north Australian rivers3.

1980

  • Over capacity of the meat processing sector had always been a chronic problem, but where previously it was due to seasonal factors now the problem was a direct result of management decisions during the late 1970’s (Pg 85, thesis)5

    • Chronic over capacity, undersupply of cattle and oversupply of labour requirements (Pg 117, thesis)5
    • Processing sector shed 15,000 jobs between 1980-1984 (Pg 117, thesis)5
      Entire export sector was regulated by the speed and skill of the production process (The chain and CanPak killing systems), bureaucratic control systems regulated the substantive and procedural rules (The tally and awards)(Pg 120, thesis)5
    • the only way forward for employers was rationalisation of the production capacity (Pg 120, thesis)5

1986

  • Australian Meat Holdings (AMH) – Four largest meat processors in Australia had decided to combine their resources(Pg 126, thesis)5
    • FJ Walkers (Wholly owned by Elders)5
    • Metro Meat Industries5
    • Smorgon Consolidated Industries5
    • Tancred Brothers5
      • combined assets $90M (Pg 127, thesis)5
      • Plan was to combine resources of QLD meat processing facilities, take over Mackay (then owned by Borthwicks) and Bowen plants. Establish the most suitable operating capacity for the new entity and then rationalise the remaining excess capacity (Pg 126 thesis)5
      • Borthwicks latter withdrew from talks but was latter taken over by AMH in 1987 (Pg 128, thesis)5
  • AMH principal objective was to rationalise capacity of its 9 abattoirs, so the remaining plants would operate near full capacity (Pg 128, thesis)5
    • two older plants immediately decomissioned (Pg 128, thesis)5
      • Authors note – think Cairns  and Cape River abattoir (QLD) were two of these plants.
      • By 1996 AMH had closed 5 of the 9 plants.(Pg 128, thesis)5

1989

  • Closed4

Sources

  1. Competition & Exit in Meat Processing. Agribusiness review Vol 7 1999
  2. ‘100 years of Northern Beef Production’ Nth QLD register 22.11.12
  3. ‘The Australian Live Export Trade’ Nigel Austin.
  4. Cairns Historical Society.
  5. Employers & Industrial Relations in the Australian Meat processing Industry. P. O’Leary 2008
  6. ‘Queerah Meatworks strike’ North QLD register 17.10.2013
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